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In the TV show Fringe, which is completing its series run January 2013 at its 100th episode, there have been a number of mysteries revealed, and some never revealed to date. One of the mysteries outstanding is the presence of Agent Charlie Francis in episode S2E11, Unearthed, when he had been killed by the shapeshifter and his original body destroyed. Then that shifter itself was killed by Olivia Dunham in episode S2E04, Momentum Deferred.

At the time, I remember the producers explained that this episode was a one-off, a remainder episode from Season 1, and wouldn't explain how the presence of Charlie should be interpreted post-death. The non-satisfactory answer merely heightened the theory of a conspiracy worth watching.

For the Fringe mavens out there, seeing that this series is about the vaguaries of time and inter-universe travel, is there evidence built into any subsequent episodes that would have healed this continuity failure that I might have missed?

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These are quotes from Joshua Jackson and Jeff Pinkner (he was the show runner at the time) that explain the "Unearthed" episode:

Joshua Jackson: [The network] only had 22 airdates for our show this year, but they ordered 23 episodes... It's just an accounting issue.

Jeff Pinkner: It's a stand-alone [episode]...

Since it's supposed to be a stand-alone one could argue that it's therefore not connected to other episodes. And I don't remember any following episode alluding back to this one.


FOX had some fun with it, with their press release teasing:

...the bewildering case in an original "Unearthed" episode of FRINGE and here's another mystery: is it an unaired episode from Season One or is it from an alternate universe?...

So maybe this is an episode that aired in an alternate universe, on an alternate FOX network that somehow leaked to our universe ;)


Fringpedia lists two oddities:

When and where does this episode take place in the Fringe canon?

  • Lisa Donovan's FBI file states her birth as 19 November 1982. Her claimed age of "seventeen" suggests the timing of this episode is around 1999 -- Is this evidence of an alternative universe?
    Lisa

  • Andrew Rusk's Military Dossier states his birth as 23 August 1981. His "twenty year" marriage and military rank suggests the timing of this episode is around 2019 -- Is this evidence of an alternative universe?
    Rusk

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